More than 2,000 attend memorial for slain Jessica Ridgeway
Posted by DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager - email
(AP Photo/The Denver Post, Kathryn Scott Osler). Friends and family gather at the altar just befor the start of a memorial service for 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway at Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:24 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:24:33 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:23 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:23:11 GMT
(WMC-TV) - SCORES OF THE WEEK: Nothing Bundt Cake, 5679 Poplar Ave./Suite 102, East Memphis, 100 on April 8 The Donut Box, 3051 Kirby Whitten Rd., Bartlett, TN, 98 on April 8 Subway, 11615 HighwayMore >>
The cat got our attention ... and revealed critical violations at the East Memphis Mexican restaurant.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-04-18 02:49:18 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Memphis police say a fight at East High School turned into a family affair. A student, her brother, and their mother all ended up behind bars. The student ended up at Juvenile Court. Her momMore >>
Memphis police say a fight at East High School turned into a family affair. A student, her brother, and their mother all ended up behind bars.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-04-18 02:38:28 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Neighbors are fed up with a home covered in graffiti. They are doing what they can to make sure it is cleaned up and that their southwest Memphis neighborhood stays safe. "I think somebody shouldMore >>
Neighbors are fed up with a home covered in graffiti. They are doing what they can to make sure it is cleaned up and that their southwest Memphis neighborhood stays safe.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 7:33 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:33:30 GMT
Editorial by Tracey Rogers, Action News 5 general manager:(WMC-TV) - Recently while touring the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis, a tiny girl with no hair peeked around the corner with the biggest toothyMore >>
Recently while touring the Ronald McDonald House in Memphis, a tiny girl with no hair peeked around the corner with the biggest toothy grin and round cheeks.More >>
More than 2,000 family members, friends, neighbors and others gathered Tuesday to remember a 10-year-old suburban Denver girl who was abducted on her way to school and killed.
As the public memorial for Jessica Ridgeway was held, the search for her killer continued, with multiple agencies checking leads and asking for more tips.
Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said at the evening service that investigators are working the case "tirelessly, diligently, and we are committed until we achieve justice for Jessica." Earlier, police said they had received more than 350 more phone tips Tuesday.
The ceremony at Faith Bible Chapel in Arvada opened with a slideshow of pictures set to the Jessica's favorite songs, including "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen. Many attendees wore the fifth-grader's favorite color, purple.
Pastor Rick Long of Grace Church in Arvada said Jessica had two fish, two frogs and a dog, and she loved Disney films. She enjoyed wearing green and blue makeup as part of her peewee cheerleading squad at a nearby high school, and she was looking forward to dressing up as a zombie lifeguard for Halloween.
Long added that community support has been lifting Jessica's family.
Gov. John Hickenlooper, whose son is Jessica's age, told those gathered that the Ridgeways are in Coloradans' thoughts.
"Every single person in this state is with the Ridgeways in every single way that we may be," Hickenlooper said.
Cases like this - in which a child apparently is abducted and killed by a stranger - are "the ones that shock entire communities and scare us all," said Robert Lowery, senior executive director of the missing children's division at the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children.
Michelle King, who lives in the neighborhood where Jessica disappeared, said she brought her 10-year-old daughter to the memorial partly as closure.
"It's a thing we have to talk to our children about," King said. "We've gotten a little relaxed about this."
Authorities have been tight-lipped about the investigation since they announced Friday that a body found on the edge of town belonged to Jessica.
The girl was last seen alive walking down a quiet street in her modest Westminster neighborhood Oct. 5. Her school backpack was found three days later in Superior, another Denver suburb about seven miles northwest of her home.
Jessica's body was found Oct. 10, the same day authorities ruled out her parents as suspects in her disappearance. Her body was found along a remote road that locals say few knew about.
Authorities usually are reserved in what they say to the public, out of concern for causing unnecessary alarm. But they issued a statement last week advising residents to be suspicious of their bosses, friends and family members.
Authorities asked the public to keep an eye out for people exhibiting unusual behavior - like leaving town unexpectedly, missing appointments, consuming unusual amounts of alcohol or changing their appearance. The idea was that the killer would not be able to act normally after committing the crime.
"They may have no suspects," said Kenneth Lanning, a retired FBI behavior analyst in Fredericksburg, Va., who is now a consultant specializing in crimes against children. "But likely at this point, they have so many suspects and now they're trying to sort through them."
Lanning is not involved in the Colorado case but described such investigations as multi-track efforts, with volunteers and deputies searching homes, bushes, drainages and open space near the child's house while investigators develop a criminal case.
Police likely are pouring through hours of surveillance video taken at banks, gas stations, government buildings and elsewhere, Lanning said.
In Cody, Wyo., where an 11-year-old girl was abducted and sexually assaulted Oct. 8, police were able to get a license plate number from surveillance video at Yellowstone National Park that led them to a suspect in Montana. The girl was released hours after her abduction.
Investigators also have statistical data based on past crimes of this type that could provide a general profile of who may have committed the crime, Lanning and FBI profiler Clinton Van Zandt said.
Neither Lanning nor Van Zandt would provide an opinion on the Colorado case, saying each case is unique.
However, a 2006 report funded by the U.S. Department of Justice and compiled by Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna determined the majority of suspects in such cases are single and between 18 and 30 years old.
The study looked at more than 800 cases from 1968 to 2002, the latest figures available. It found nearly half the suspects were unemployed, and those who did have jobs worked in unskilled or semi-skilled labor occupations.
The report also said 21% of victims were 10 to 12 years old and initially encountered their abductor within a quarter-mile of their home. Jessica was 10 and last seen within two blocks of her house.
Lanning and Van Zandt noted investigators will build their own suspect profile using the evidence. They'll consider where Jessica was last seen alive and where her body was found, along with the condition of her body, which police have said was "not intact." There's also the girl's backpack, which might contain clues.
"Behavior can be expressed in a crime scene," Lanning said. "We're greatly hoping that in addition to behavioral clues, how about he left his DNA?"
Lowery, of the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, added that fewer children have been abducted and killed in recent years because of greater awareness and the Amber Alert system established nationwide in 2003. He said several abductors have released children after seeing or hearing such an alert.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thursday, April 17 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:43:50 GMT
Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning.More >>
Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 4:17 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:17:40 GMT
MARION, AR (KAIT) – A former youth pastor and daycare worker has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl. Scott Ellington, prosecuting attorney for the Second JudicialMore >>
A former youth pastor and daycare worker has been sentenced to 9 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:55:55 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A so-called Voodoo priest's Mid-South home is concerning many people in the area. The man's house and lawn have interesting items, some that appear to be related to Voodoo. His neighbor saysMore >>
A so-called Voodoo priest's Mid-South home is concerning many people in the area. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 4:34 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:34:38 GMT
(WMC-TV) – The circumstances that led to a deadly crash involving 10 vehicles and sent a young child to the hospital in critical condition were released by police. Memphis police say a 58-year-old manMore >>
The circumstances that led to a deadly crash involving 10 vehicles and sent a young child to the hospital in critical condition were released by police.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 5:55 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:55:55 GMT
(WMC-TV) – Two West Memphis teenagers were arrested in relation to a home invasion and the beating of an 81-year-old woman, according to West Memphis Police Chief Donald Oakes. The woman had to be rushedMore >>
Two West Memphis teenagers were arrested in relation to a home invasion and the beating of an 81-year-old woman, according to West Memphis Police Chief Donald Oakes.More >>
Wednesday, April 9 2014 6:46 PM EDT2014-04-09 22:46:24 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Some people marry multiple wives and claim religion, but one Mid-South wife says that is not always the case. "I didn't do it out of spite, because I'm not like that. I did it to teach himMore >>
Some people marry multiple wives and claim religion, but one Mid-South wife says that is not always the case.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 7:41 AM EDT2014-04-17 11:41:21 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Police are responding to a crash involving several vehicles at Raleigh Lagrange Road and Covington Pike. Memphis police are receiving reports that a 4-year-old and an infant could be injured. StayMore >>
Police responded to a fatal crash involving 10 cars at Raleigh Lagrange Road and Covington Pike on Wednesday.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 1:18 PM EDT2014-04-17 17:18:28 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Memphis woman is thankful to be alive after staring down a gun barrel. The man holding the gun had a cross tattooed between his eyes. It is the worst experience she has ever had, but she saysMore >>
A Memphis woman is thankful to be alive after staring down a gun barrel. The man holding the gun had a cross tattooed between his eyes.More >>